From Ilha Grande to Suriname

Day 19 – Sun 24

Bloody wifi is not working, arse, only one computer at the hotel and it moves at a snails pace as I had to apologetically explain to the queue after seeming to hog it for half an hour, and all I wanted to do was to check in for a flight and check my email for Kaieteur falls trips!

We found a beautiful walk involving forest trails, a bathing pool, a waterfall (more bathing and cooling opportunities) and 2 beaches, it reminded me of the lovely walk Helen took us on in Trinidad, Cuba. And we saw more sagui minkeys! There were 3 sitting on a branch right next to us – I wonder if I can fit one in my pocket …

Ate and then met our new friends for far too many caipirinhas, Jesus they are strong, I had 3 and a Spanish measure G&T and have only hazy (but good) memories of most of the evening.

Today was definitely the best day to date.  Trekking through forest, swimming in ice cold pools & waterfalls, finding beautiful beaches & then getting uproariously drunk with our new friends – splendid!

Ilha Grande

Day 20 – Mon 25

Woke up feeling terrible, am reminded of Withnail’s immortal comment;  ”I feel like a pig shat in my head”. I should definitely stop drinking.

We found another walk today, not as nice as yesterday’s, there were a distinct lack of cooling down spots for the first 2 hours, but then we found a little pool followed by the most beautiful beach at Dois Rios, freshwater rivers at either end of the beach feeding into the sea, definitely worth it. We saw a bigger monkey on the way too, too quick for the camera unfortunately.

The 2hr trek up a mountain in the midday sun with a hangover definitely wasn’t a highlight, but the beach definitely was beautiful & lovely with the mix of salt & fresh water from the rivers – be great to sail round here…

Day 21 – Tues 26

Off to Paraty today, another Easy transfer, much better this time, but what the last driver lacked in caution, was overcompensated by this one, arrived late to find that no-one would answer the door to the hostel. I had to break in through the window, I think I may have missed my vocation!

Found a nice place for a not very cheap dinner, how overbudget have we gone in Brazil, I wonder?

Transfers are definitely crap; sent us to the wrong place even though I pointed out on the map that it was the wrong address.  Wheeled rucksacks definitely passed their test as they bounced over heavy cobblestones.

Had fun boosting Tracey through a window I managed to lever open to get into the guest house – those formative years in East London are starting to provide dividends!

Beautiful town that gets washed through by the spring tides so the streets become mini rivers – they then have to sweep away all the mud.  We’ve just missed one but saw all the resulting silt.

Paraty

Day 22 – Wed 27th

Another bloody Easy transfer, at 11:30am, hardly worth going really. Managed to hare around town in 15 minutes, it is tiny, but beautiful, I am sad that we did not get to do a jeep or schooner tour, there are hundreds of little islands within an hour of Paraty apparently.

The lightening tour showed that we were right not to stay too long here, but would have been nice to sit & chill in the laid back atmosphere.  Historic centre house (not Hostel; as we were constantly redirected to that on!) left a little bit to be desired… rickety staircase upto a huge attic room with a roof that leaked… I was itching to get my tools out.

I am not recommending Easy transfers, we went via Ilha Grande where we had to get off that bus and hang around for about 40 minutes while an utterly disorganised rearrangement of transferees took place – it really shouldn’t have been difficult… at least we got to see all our Ilha Grande friends again and the driver did get us to the airport in plenty of time – sadly nowhere to eat a non-meat and gluten smack at Santos Dumont, have had a very healthy meal of crisps and ice cream again L

Easy transfer – easy money… idiots. Driver kindly ensured we got to the airport on time but their organisation was poor.

Day 22/23 – Wed 27th/Thu 28th

Arrived in Belem early in the morning, unfortunately could not find the hotel we had booked and when we started driving around the back of some dodgy garages with burnt out cars Keir took matters in hand and got the driver to take us to the Ibis – a relatively posh night for us with an extensive breakfast, eggs!!! Got the flight to Suriname and found every single ATM was temporarily out of order… we eventually managed to get a small shop to change enough dollars to get us to town, though we have no bloody way to check the exchange rate, oops, not very prepared…

I’m sure the Hostel would have been great had we found it… but outside the front door wouldn’t have been. To be fair we were due a dud; Tracey’s done a great job organising everything but it’s always a bit of a gamble until you get there.

We learnt a lesson to be better prepared when we arrived in Suriname having not sorted out a bit of currency & checked out the transport options from the airport.  No harm done- apart from to the wallet but we are now starting the country hopping.

Zin resort & Hotel looked to be another interesting choice when we pulled up – but how looks can be deceptive. Nice room with shower & aircon, very friendly staff (Marischa/ Sing) & owner, a bar & good food plus a pool to boot… think I’ll spend the rest of the year here!

Our pool seems to be a hang-out for all the Dutch interns who come over to Paramaribo… & often end up staying.  All I can say is BINGO, Ding Dong!

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